Tag Archives: caroline

Review The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark

A few “sexy” bullet points about Jay: 
– He is in love with a cheerleader named Cameo “Appearance” Parnell 
– He is forever losing “Love-15” to tennis-playing goddess Caroline Richardson 
– He rocks a touche array of pop-culture references, jokes, and puns 
– His family-life cookie is about to crumble. 

Live vicariously through Jay as he faces off against his mortal enemy, gets awkward around his dream girl(s), loses his marbles in a Bermudian love triangle, watches his parents’ relationship implode, and, finally, learns to get real and be himself(ish).

Genre: YA Fiction
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Page Count: 272
Source: My copy.
Rating: 3/5

I really liked this book. I liked Jay and his quirks, and loved (most) all of the supporting characters. He suffered from some serious teenage boy syndrome during his rival with Mike and the bad choices he made where Cameo was concerned, but he made up for it in character so that was okay.

I had a real hard time connecting with Cameo, who is mostly responsible for the loss of rating. I know the author tried to portray her as a mistake-prone girl with good intentions, but I just wasn’t buying it. She wasn’t sincere to me.

Caroline, however, I loved. I was able to picture her perfectly and could definitely see myself being friends with her. I know that the author’s fiancee is named Caroline (and he is Jay), so one can only hope that she is like Caroline in the novel, because she is really down to earth. I do wish that we could have experienced the development in their relationship though, rather than “it’s one month later and we’re dating”.

Ms. Lambert was probably my favorite character though. Funnier than even Jay, I thought she was witty and very intelligent. Anyone who has a teacher like this, who cares about their students as much as she did, is really lucky.

I knew going into the novel that its main plot point was a love triangle (which I usually stay away from at all costs) but it wasn’t overdone so it turned out okay. Plus, it was told from a boy’s perspective which is not as common, so I was interested to see how that would play out.

Wholly, The Edumacation of Jay Baker is a humorous, witty contemporary that does deal with some real issues (divorce, etc.), but is not a tearjerker or anything like that. I would recommend it for a pretty light read.

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Review Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

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Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a KitchenAid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O.

Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Each moan, spank, and–was that a meow?–punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has, yep, you guessed it, no O.

Enter Simon Parker. (No, really, Simon, please enter.) When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has, well, mixed results. Ahem. With walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick…

In her third novel, Alice Clayton returns to dish her trademark mix of silly and steamy. Banter, barbs, and strutting pussycats, plus the sexiest apple pie ever made, are dunked in a hot tub and set against the gorgeous San Francisco skyline in this hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight.

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Release Date: November 27, 2012
Page Count: 300
Source: My copy.
Rating: 1/5

I’m going to try to put into words what fifty pages of this novel took away from me. But it may just be the remnants of my head exploding when its over, like when I first tried to write this review. It could happen.

This book is about a woman, who is supposed to have some sexual chemistry with her “sexy” neighbor, the Wallbanger. I’m guessing. The truth is that it was just too terrible for me to get past the first fifty pages.

You see, the problem is, the woman is immature. And the “sexy” neighbor? Not sexy. He’s completely self-centered, a total asshole, and NOT SEXY. I mean, sure, he has the looks, but I’m sorry, looks are not all a man needs to be sexy. He needs to be charming or good natured or something. A good person. And that’s what’s wrong with some of these books. There’s a guy, and he’s an asshole with absolutely no redeeming qualities.

Let’s look at Damon from The Vampire Diaries. Okay, he’s an asshole. And he kills people. We love him anyway. But we don’t love him because he’s hot. We love Damon because deep down, we know that if we were the people he loves, he would protect us. Damon takes care of the people he loves. That’s something we, as readers, can hold onto past the fact that he has a really defined jaw.

I mean, what do these characters say about us as humans? Reading Wallbanger, I was seriously ashamed of the human race and the fact that I was a part of it. Is this what the world thinks about us women who read romance? That we’re proud of our one night stands, that we’re “keenly aware of our looks” or that we refer to other women who stand in our way as bimbos? Because this is exactly what Caroline and her friends do in this book. And don’t tell me that it’s for the purpose of character development because that’s bullshit. Making characters out to be bitches and assholes just so they can be “developed” and we can believe they’re good people by the end. Spare me. There has to be a reason we fall in love with these people, and if fifty pages isn’t enough to map out at least one reason, I don’t know what is.

There is nothing redeeming about Caroline or Simon. So he spanks women he’s in bed with. Does that make him sexy? No. It means he has no clue how to pleasure women and resorts to… uh, spanking when he doesn’t know how to handle himself as a man. And some people could argue that the woman receiving the spanking wanted it. Well, to me, that makes Simon all the more revolting. Get your shit together dude, and get with a real woman.

There are other things I could talk about in this review, like the karate-doing asian friend (racist, much?) or the cat who is aroused by a meowing Russian woman (I couldn’t make this shit up, but obviously someone did), but I don’t really know if these absurd details are even worth mentioning. The bottom line is that this book offended me. I don’t know if I’ve been reading YA too long, but I was offended. As a reader, as a woman, as a person, I want nothing to do with people like the ones described in this novel. I think I’ll be staying away from adult romance for a while if this the kind of literature the community has come to expect. And I definitely won’t be picking anything else up by this author.